Tug Your Listeners’ Heartstrings with Royalty Free Sad Music

The PremiumBeat library offers an ocean of sad music. Dive into the blue and soak up some deep feels for a while. Resurface with sad pearls to string through your upcoming projects. Get started today.

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Set the Mood

Sad music has the power to quickly stir deep emotions in listeners. When played in a dramatic film trailer, such music instantly informs the audience that characters have a serious emotional journey ahead. This music can help viewers drop into the appropriate mindset for such a film, settling them down and preparing them to engage emotionally with the coming content.


PremiumBeat’s flexible license plans make it easy to meet your individual music needs. If you are working on non-commercially distributed content, the $49 Standard license is perfect for you. If you’ve got revenue-generating content on your hands, then the $199 Premium license is just what you need. Both licenses require only the one-time fee and then you are set to use your song in perpetuity.

Amplify Narratives

Some of the most memorable films in cinematic history would not have packed nearly as powerful a punch without sad music to amplify the narrative. There are film songs many still associate with deep, heart-wrenching emotion, such as “My Heart Will Go On,” from Titanic or “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Misérables. Discover the sad song that will take your film to the next level within the PremiumBeat library today.
About sad music
What is sad music?
The state of sadness is generally defined as one in which a person feels sorrowful or unhappy. It is one of the four basic human emotions. Sad music tends to capture this low, morose mood with both musical sounds and written lyrics that evoke sad imagery or memories. The blues genre of music is often associated with sadness. This is fitting, as the colloquial phrase, “I’ve got a case of the blues,” may be said by someone who just can’t shake that sad feeling. Royalty free sad music is a popular genre for various creatives. When played during a film scene in which the protagonist is crying or struggling to remain optimistic, for example, a sad song can dramatically enhance the emotional impact on the audience. Such music can wordlessly signify a low point in a character’s life and stir a sense of empathy in the viewer.
How do I find royalty free sad music?
The best royalty free music sites feature powerful search engines that make finding sad beats a breeze. To find a choice of sad songs in moments, head to PremiumBeat’s search engine. Take a look at the filter options on the left side of the page. Click “Genres” to explore “Blues” or “Production / Film Scores” options such as “Human Drama.” We also have a “Mood” filter that features “Dark / Somber” and “Sad / Nostalgic.” You can hone in on the specific instruments you want to hear in your tracks by clicking the “Instruments” filter and selecting instruments commonly associated with sadness (Piano, Cello, and Violin are great places to start). Need a whole playlist of sad songs? When you find a song that hits on the sort of sad sound you were hoping for, click on the title and scroll down to “More songs like this one” to check out similar tracks.
Who has the best sad music?
Most music libraries will have at least some sad musical offerings, but for a deeply diverse collection, check out PremiumBeat’s Sad/Nostalgic Mood. With over 1000 sad songs to choose from, you are sure to find a tearjerker in no time. Click the “Filter” button on the upper left side of the page to further specify the sort of sad songs you want to hear. Look to the right side of the page and click the “Popularity” button to see a dropdown menu of options regarding the order in which you would like your song results displayed. Click on a song title to head to its page. This page is filled with track details, from the genres it is classified under to the descriptive tags one can use to find similar-sounding songs. The instruments played in the track are also listed. When you find a track you love, add it to your cart and head to checkout to select your license and download your song in moments.
How to make music sound sad?
The saddest instruments are generally considered to be the cello, viola, violin, piano, and human voice, so if you are looking to create a sad song, it can’t hurt to start there. Beyond instruments, a number of musical elements contribute to a sad-sounding song. One such element is musical modes that involve the arrangement and order of musical notes in a specific key. Songs in a major key sound happy, while songs in a minor key sound sad. Then there’s tempo. Tempo refers to the speed or pace of a given song. It is generally considered one of the most effective ways to express an intended emotion in music. When people hear fast-paced music, they tend to consider it happy or exciting. Slow music, on the other hand, is more often perceived as sad or melancholy. The ways in which these various musical elements interact will ultimately lead to a listener’s perception that a song is sad.
Does listening to sad music make you sad?
Listening to sad music affects each of us differently. While some people feel sad when they listen to such songs, paradoxically, many people enjoy listening to sad music. Evidence suggests that this pleasurable response to sad music is related to several factors. Sad music can trigger nostalgic memories of days gone by. If these memories were pivotal, meaningful moments in the listener’s life, their mood may be enhanced by the experience. There is a delicate bittersweetness in this form of nostalgia as listeners miss the good ‘ol days but feel touched by the memory of them. Sad music can also offer listeners a cathartic release of pent-up emotion. The music causes the brain to release prolactin. This hormone is associated with crying and a soothing of grief. When prolactin moves through the body at the sound of sad music, we experience a feeling of calm that reduces mental pain. With the above in mind, you can effectively use sad music in your projects to alter the mood of your audience.

Looking for specific sad music?

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How to use sad music

Sad music for background

If you want to create a powerful mood in a given situation or project, try playing sad music in the background. This sort of music is intended to be unobtrusive. It doesn’t draw attention to itself. Imagine an elegant restaurant with candlelit tables. Such a spot would likely host many dates and anniversary dinners. Lilting piano or soft violin could essentially play on the heartstrings of diners, enhancing the emotional impact of the meal. Such people may not be consciously aware of the nostalgic tone the music is establishing, but they will be affected, nonetheless. Within the PremiumBeat library, you can find sad songs with descriptive tags such as “longing,” “gentle,” and “floating,” all of which could work well when applied to evocative background music.

Sad music for YouTube videos

The sad music you use in your YouTube videos will depend largely on the context and content in your videos. Some social media users choose to speak directly to the camera as they share painful stories from their past. Such vulnerability can be a beautiful thing, establishing an emotional connection between creator and audience. This experience can be deepened by the addition of a song that matches the tone of the story. Any number of songs from the PremiumBeat Sad/Nostalgic Mood collection could be used. Sweeping strings can sweep viewers right up into the emotional moment, while gentle piano can cause them to slow down and hang on every one of the speaker’s words. As you search for your ideal song, try saying your intended YouTube story aloud as each song plays. When you find the one that feels like the perfect fit, add it to your cart, head to checkout, and download to edit it into your YouTube video in moments.

Sad music for movies

Sad music can enhance the mood of a film, as well as maintain a sense of cohesion and flow as one scene transitions to the next. A sad song played near the start of a film instantly informs the audience of the film’s tone. Say, for example, the protagonist is introduced to the audience as a sad song plays. Before the character has said a word, the viewers will know that this character is struggling emotionally. This can help establish a sense of the inner journey that lies ahead of this character. If considering sad music to ease the transitions between emotional scenes, start by thinking about the instruments used. Instruments sound sad to the human ear when played in a manner that is slow-paced and low in overall pitch. Instruments capable of sustaining a note for a length of time are also generally believed to sound sad. This means that the long, sustained notes played by a cello, for example, could easily carry your viewers from one scene to the next...
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Hassle-free licensing

Add royalty free sad music to your PremiumBeat cart, go to checkout, and select the license that meets your needs. In a few quick clicks, you’ll have the license for the sad songs that will enhance your project. It’s that easy.

Free music in moments

Check out PremiumBeat’s advanced filters to find free sad beats in no time. Simply head to our search engine, type “sad” into the search bar, and apply the “Free Tracks Only” filter. Try not to smile at how quickly you find the perfect sad song for your project.

Handpicked music

Explore our curated Sad/Nostalgic Mood playlist to find a melancholy song you love in moments. From slow-paced, emotional piano to airy and solemn ballads, our diverse collection is sure to satisfy.

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